Picture this: a quiet seaside café, a group of individuals lying still on their backs, eyes closed, they are practicing savasana at the end of their yoga session. The blissful moment is abruptly interrupted by the police stormed into the room in full combat gear after they were alerted of a potential ‘mass killing’. Nope, no joke. It really happened last month at the Seascape Cafe, inside the North Sea Observatory in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire.
The news made me giggle. 😊 I get how to an uninformed onlooker Savasana or Corpse pose can look somehow similar to a crime scene. In reality, this episode highlights a broader issue – the lack of awareness about yoga and its various poses among those unfamiliar with the practice.
Despite its outward appearance, Savasana is a crucial part of any yoga class. By promoting complete stillness, it allows the body and mind to integrate the benefits of the preceding poses, reducing stress and enhancing relaxation and overall well-being.
Despite looking very easy, achieving true stillness in Savasana can be more challenging than we think. As we lay on our backs, arms and legs relaxed, and eyes closed, we enter a state of conscious relaxation that can hold its own set of hurdles.
The restless mind: a mental battleground
One common challenge in Savasana is the restless mind. As the body settles into stillness, the mind can become a bustling marketplace of thoughts, plans and worries. Distractions from the outside world, like the to-do list waiting at home or the obligations after the yoga session, can hinder the practitioner’s ability to truly let go.
Physical discomfort: embracing stillness in the body
For some, lying still for an extended period can lead to restlessness and discomfort in the body. The art of Savasana lies in learning to embrace discomfort without reacting to it, a skill that requires patience and practice.
The symbolic death: emotional vulnerability
Yogic philosophy teaches that Savasana is a metaphorical death – the death of the ego and the surrendering of the self. This symbolic letting go can be challenging for some of us. Confronting the layers of the self and allowing them to dissolve during Savasana requires vulnerability and introspection that can be rewarding as well as emotionally difficult.
The hardest yoga pose: conscious effort in stillness
According to some, Savasana is the “hardest yoga pose” because it demands a different kind of effort – a conscious endeavour to be still, both in body and mind. In a world that often glorifies constant motion and productivity, the challenge of Savasana lies in unlearning the impulse to always be doing something; thus, try to simply be in the moment.
Opportunities for growth: the journey inward
In the end, the challenges of Savasana are also opportunities for growth and self-discovery. As we navigate the hurdles of a restless mind, the physical discomfort coming from not being used to staying still and the emotional vulnerability that comes with thinking about our own finitude, we also learn to cultivate a deeper sense of inner peace and stillness that extends far beyond the yoga mat and into the tapestry of our daily lives. After all, the journey of Savasana, like all yoga, is a journey inward – one that puts us face to face with the limits of our physical body but also with the limitless nature of our core being – who we truly are and what guides us in our lives.